Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Canada Signed on to Missile Defense?

Frank McKenna made his big splash, and not in a way most Canadians will like. The country’s next ambassador to the United States appeared before the foreign affairs committee in commons today, then went outside and told reporters that Canada has already signed on to George Bush’s controversial missile defense program.

Asked directly if Canada is already part of the program, McKenna responded: “We are. We’re part of it now and the question is what more do we need?”
At first, this appears to be a serious issue and it still may be. But we need clarification. The media has already jumped all over the issue, with the Globe, The Star and Canada.com leading with the story. But the question remains, just how have we signed on? Is this the full level of our planned involvement?

NDP foreign affairs critic Alexa McDonough raised a key point during her comments before reporters:

“But of course we know what else the Americans want is Canada to be the fig leaf — Canada to give the aura of credibility and respectability to the U.S. decision to go ahead with this missile-defense madness.”
Canada has clearly not yet done this, and polls indicate the public is overwhelmingly against the Prime Minister giving the plan such strong endorsement. The question now is whether or not the Liberal grassroots will carry enough power at the party’s policy convention to prevent that from happening.

If not, Bush may soon find the aura of legitimacy he seeks and the Canadian people will likely be overruled again, as Mr. Dithers and his band of fools cave in to the militarization of space.

[Update 2:35] - Bill Graham just got hammered during question period. He argued that McKenna was talking solely about the NORAD ammendment which discussed BMD and that our participation was not yet a done deal. However, the NDP and Bloc jumped on the issue in a huge way. Both the Minister o Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister were not in Commons today, but I would expect the fuss to continue tomorrow. At the very least, this will likely bring the issue back to the forefront in the weeks before the Liberal policy convention.


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